Law Director to Leave Jan. 28th, Deputy to Take Over
Staff Report, 01-15-2020

City Law Director Russ Balthis, left, will leave his position as of January 28th, with his Deputy Director, Janet Ciotola, right, likely to succeed him.
Provided by the City of Cuyahoga Falls NECCO office
According to a press release issued Monday evening, Cuyahoga Falls Director of Law Russ Balthis will exit his job after six years as of January 28th in order to accept a position with the law firm of Squire Patton Boggs, a “nationally recognized public and infrastructure practice group.” Mayor Don Walters intends to nominate Deputy Director of Law Janet Ciotola to take Bathis’ place, which would make her the first female Director in the city’s history if she is confirmed.

“Russ has been an essential part of my administration and one of my most trusted advisors and I could not be prouder of his commitment, dedication, and drive to serve our city,” the Mayor said. “As he begins this next chapter of his career, I am grateful that he plans to remain engaged, involved, and invested in our community.”

A graduate of the University of Akron School of Law, Balthis was chosen as a member of the Mayor’s cabinet in late-2013, just after Walters defeated the 28-year Republican incumbent, Don Robart. At the time, Balthis was working as an attorney for Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff, LLP, and he had served for two years prior as the Chief of Legal Services for Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the City of Cuyahoga Falls as part of the forward-thinking, transformational leadership team of Mayor Walters,” Balthis said. “I am thankful for the city’s growth and success and will look for new and innovative ways to serve this community that I call home.”

Ciotola, meanwhile, was hired by Balthis as his deputy law director in mid-2014, replacing Hope Jones, who had served in that role since 1990. Also a graduate of the University of Akron School of Law, Ciotola left a position as Assistant Law Director for the City of Akron to come to the Falls.

“I am both excited for and humbled by the opportunity to serve the residents of Cuyahoga Falls as the Director of Law, pending confirmation from City Council,” remarked Ciotola. “I have spent most of my entire law career as a public servant and look forward to continuing my work in this new capacity.”

City Council will vote on whether to confirm Ciotola to take over as Law Director on February 3rd, and, if confirmed, she will start in her new position the next day.

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